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Navy's Ken Niumatalolo emerges as top candidate at Arizona, report says

13 January 2018

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo has emerged as a leading candidate for the vacant Arizona job.

Ken Niumatalolo was unexpectedly absent from the Navy football offices today, fueling strong speculation that he will be the next coach of the Arizona Wildcats. He is the all-time winningest coach in school history. He recently capped his 10th season as a head coach, all in Annapolis, with a 49-7 win over Virginia in the Military Bowl on December 28.

Niumatalolo would replace Rich Rodriguez, who served as head coach for the past six seasons. The two are friends and share a link to the University of Hawaii, where Tomey was head coach from 1977 till '86 and Niuamtalolo lettered for three seasons as quarterback before graduating in 1989. His ten years at Navy are more than the rest of the league's coaches (11 coaches total) have been at their current schools combined.

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Niumatalolo, 84-47 in 10 years in Annapolis, has been offered the job, the Star reported, citing an unidentified source close to the situation. Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, who thrived last season under Rodriguez's spread scheme, does not seem enthused by the idea of running Niumatalolo's offense.

The sophomore completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 1,591 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Tate tweeted out that he didn't "come to Arizona to run the triple option".

Navy's Ken Niumatalolo emerges as top candidate at Arizona, report says